Texas House Democrat Trey Martinez Fischer Defends His Party for Fleeing State to Block Voter Restrictions

Speaking to CNN, Texas House Democrat Trey Martinez Fischer said Democrats need to have “courage,” “conviction,” and “sometimes a little bit of defiance” if they want to stand up in the fight against Republican attempts to impose restrictions on the right to vote.

Martinez Fischer’s remarks came after Texas Democrats fled the state to block Republicans from passing a new voting bill while also applying pressure on Congress to pass the For the People Act at the federal level.

“We have a job to do. We are elected by our constituents to be their voice,” he said. “They have no voice and voting rights is fundamental, so I think we have to have the courage, we have to have conviction, and sometimes a little bit of defiance.”

“The eyes of the nation are on Texas,” he continued, “and we hope to rally the country and we hope that the Senate will hear us and act. This is where we are: This is a now or never moment and we’re not going to stay home, we’re not just going to take our medicine and lose in defeat. We want to make sure we are doing everything we can in this final push to bring a resolution to a very controversial issue in this country.”

Martinez Fischer also addressed Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s threat to arrest Democrats upon their return. Abbott has also promised to “continue to call a special session after special session after special session all the way up until election next year” in order to pass voter restrictions.

“This is the risk we take for standing up for democracy,” Martinez Fischer said. “We’re talking about voting rights here. There were people who were beaten by clubs, attacked by dogs, and murdered to protect this sacred right so this threat and this finger-pointing by the governor is not going to intimidate all of us. We’re strong and united and we want to bring voting rights reform to this country.”